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Author: PublicInvest   |   Latest post: Fri, 25 Jun 2021, 12:35 PM

 

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 11 May 2021

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Economy

US: Inflation brews for US producers while services wages pick up. Inflation continues to brew in America’s industrial heartland as growing materials shortages cascade into record-long delivery times and leave manufacturers struggling to keep pace with an energized economy. As producers attempt to navigate supply-chain pitfalls for the commodities necessary to produce their wares, wage growth is beginning to percolate. A recent Labor Department report showed the largest quarterly increase in worker pay at companies since 2003. (Bloomberg)

EU: Eurozone Sentix investor confidence strongest since 2018 . Eurozone investor confidence improved to the highest level in more than three years in May suggesting that the recession caused by the coronavirus has been overcome, survey results from Sentix showed. The investor confidence index rose notably to 21.0 in May from 13.1 in April. The score was the highest since March 2018. The reading was forecast to climb moderately to 14.0. Current assessment as well as expectations strengthened in May. This is very unusual and underlines that the very expansive monetary and fiscal policy that has been in place for a year has not failed to have an effect on the real economy, Sentix said. (RTT)

UK: House prices rise most in seven months as outlook brightens . UK house prices rose at their fastest pace in seven months in April, buoyed by the extension of a tax cut on property purchases and a brightening economic outlook. Values climbed 1.4% from March, when they increased 1.1%, mortgage lender Halifax. The rise, the most since Sept last year, left prices 8.2% higher than a year earlier at a record GBP258,204 (USD363,000). (Bloomberg)

Japan: Household spending jumps more than expected in March. Japan’s household spending rose above year-earlier levels in March for the first time in four months as major cities got a temporary reprieve from virus emergencies. Household spending gained 6.2%, the ministry of internal affairs reported, well above economists’ forecast for a 1.5% increase. Seasonally adjusted MoM spending jumped 7.2%, indicating strength beyond a simple comparison with dismal 2020 figures. (Bloomberg)

Australia: April business conditions hit new peak, March retail sales up . Australian retail turnover climbed 1.3% in March from a 1.4% rise in Feb, largely led by sales at cafes and restaurants hitting a record high, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed. Separately, the National Australia Bank’s index of business conditions jumped 8 points to a record +32 in April, with strength reported across most sectors and regions.(Reuters)

Markets

Gamuda (Neutral, TP: RM3.77): Clarifies proposal on tolled highway trust. Gamuda denied that its proposal to have four tolled highways acquired by a highway trust involved an enterprise value of RM5.2bn. “The speculated enterprise value of RM5.2bn for a highway trust proposal is incorrect,” Gamuda said. However, Gamuda confirmed that its highway trust proposal to the government does entail the sale of its highway concession at fair market value, to an independent entity funded entirely by private debt capital markets. (The Sun Daily)

EcoFirst: Plans 1-for-2 bonus issue of warrants. EcoFirst Consolidated has proposed a bonus issue of up to 443.82m warrants on the basis of one warrant for every two existing EcoFirst shares. The entitlement date and exercise price of the warrants will be determined later. It said the warrants will be issued at no cost to shareholders and will be done in a single tranche, with the exercise expected to be completed by 3Q21. (The Edge)

Astino: Proposes four-for-five bonus issue. Astino has proposed a bonus issue of 219.29m shares on the basis of four bonus shares for every five shares held. The exercise will increase the group’s share base to 493.41m shares from 274.12m shares, while the share capital will remain unchanged at RM138.27m, the group said. Astino said the theoretical exbonus price of its shares ranged between 51 sen and 93 sen, based on the prices during the three-month period up to May 10. (The Edge)

LKL: Proposes to diversify into rubber gloves, PPE industry. LKL International has proposed to diversify into the rubber gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE) sector. The company has also proposed a private placement of up to 355.05m placement shares at an issue price to be determined later, of which proceeds will be utilised for the new businesses. (Bernama)

Boustead: No comment on Littoral Combat Ship project resumption until official confirmation. Boustead Holdings says it is unable to share further information about the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project following the government's announcement that the project will continue despite previous delays. Boustead said it will wait for official confirmation on the government’s approval before disclosing any of its plans. (The Edge)

EG Industries: To make box-build 5G routers for US client. EG Industries has expanded its manufacturing capabilities to encompass 5G routers for a US-based customer. This new manufacturing venture is among the results of the group’s recent investments of RM200m in the past five years across three manufacturing plants in Sungai Petani, Kedah. This was primarily allocated for purchase and upgrades of machinery and equipment including 30 SMT manufacturing lines, as well as the set up of in-house own developed Smart 4.0 manufacturing automation. (The Sun Daily)

Market Update

The FBM KLCI might open lower today after US technology stocks dropped on Monday as investors braced for further signs that inflationary pressures in the world’s largest economy are building. The blue-chip S&P 500 closed 1% lower, while the technology focused Nasdaq Composite snapped a two-day winning streak to slide 2.6%. Consensus expects data on Wednesday to show that headline US prices rose 3.6% in April from the same time last year. Chinese factory gate prices, an early indicator of price pressures for importers in the west, are forecast to have jumped more than 6% in a report to be released on Tuesday. Data released by the New York arm of the US central bank on Monday underscored that consumers were also girding themselves for higher prices. Europe’s Stoxx 600 share index ended the session 0.1% higher.

Back home, the FBM KLCI snapped a two-day winning streak as market sentiment turned weak on heightened concern over the Covid-19 situation in the country. Heavyweights like Top Glove Corp Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd and Genting Bhd saw the benchmark index pull back 3.53 points or 0.22% to 1,583.92, after having gained 11.78 points or 0.75% on last Thursday and Friday. Elsewhere in region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.55% while Singapore’ STI declined 0.6%.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 11 May 2021

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